American Library Association gears up for 2014 ALA election

For Immediate Release
Thu, 02/27/2014


JoAnne Kempf

Director, Office of ALA Governance

Office of ALA Governance

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) is gearing up for its upcoming election.

Polls will open at 9 a.m. Central time on March 19, 2014 for the American Library Association’s annual election.

For the sixth year in a row, the American Library Association is holding its election exclusively online.  Last week, members received notification by email confirming their eligibility to vote.  To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing as of Jan. 31, 2014.

When the polls open, the ALA will notify voters by email, providing them with their unique passcodes and information about how to vote online. Emails will be sent over a three-day period between March 19 – 21. 

The polls close on Friday, April 25 at 11:59 p.m. Central time.

On May 2, the Election Committee will meet at the ALA offices to certify the election.  Election results will be released following that meeting.

Although the election is being conducted online, there remains one exception. Members with disabilities and without Internet access may obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5. Those without Internet access at home or work can easily access the election site by visiting their local public (or in many instances academic or school) library.

This year members are asked to vote for the next ALA president-elect and for 33 Councilor-at-Large candidates to serve a three-year term (2014-2017).

 “Voting is one of the most important things you do as a member,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “The President represents all of us as members, whether doing hundreds of media interviews each year or helping to guide the association through financial opportunities and challenges. They are our spokespeople - and that of libraries around the country.”

Presidential Candidates

Maggie Farrell and Sari Feldman are the candidates for the 2015-16 presidency of the American Library Association (ALA).

Farrell, dean of libraries at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, has been an ALA member since 1988. She served as the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) division councilor (2010-13) and ALA councilor-at-large (2004-07).

Her activities also include serving as chair of the Committee on Legislation, Federal Depository Library Program Task Force (2012-present); member of the International Relations Committee (2009-11), Traditional Cultural Expressions Task Force Co-Chair (2010-11) and the ACRL Board (2010-13).

She is currently a member of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries Member Council, which she served as chair (2012-13), and held a seat on the OCLC Board of Trustees (2006-13).

Her honors include appointment by Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and reappointment by Gov. Matt Mead to the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics (2008-14), which she currently serves as chair.

Her publications include “Princely Planning in a Political Environment” in the Machiavellian Librarian: "Wiling Allies, Combating Budget Cuts, and Influencing Stakeholders," 2013; “Developing a Faculty Advisory Group,” Journal of Library Administration, 2011; and “Reframing Organizations through Communication and Advocacy” in World Library and Information Congress," 2009.

Farrell holds a Master of Public Administration from Arizona State University  and a Master of Library Science from the University of Arizona, a BA in American Studies from the University of Missouri Kansas City and a Russian Linguist Certification from the Defense Language Institute.

Feldman is the executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, Ohio. She has been an ALA member since 1990.

Feldman’s activities include serving as president of the Public Library Association (PLA) (2009-10), chair of the ALA Office for Literacy/Outreach Services Advisory Committee (2000-2003) and co-chair of the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group (2011-present).

She previously chaired the Urban Libraries Council Urban Youth Strategy Group (2005-2006) and served on the PLA Every Child Ready to Read Task Force (2007-2008) and PLA Task Force on Pre-School Literacy (2001-2005).

Feldman currently serves as board president of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, a political subdivision of the State of Ohio and one of the largest local public funders of arts and culture in the nation. She is also a founding member and current trustee on the board of OneCommunity, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding high-speed broadband access to drive innovation and economic growth across Northeast Ohio.

Feldman is the 2013 recipient of the PLA Charlie Robinson Award, established to recognize innovative public library directors. Her previous honors include the Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note award (2011), the USA Toy Library Association Player of the Year (2008), the Syracuse University Vice President’s Award for Teacher of the Year (1995) and the ALA Loleta D. Fyan grant (1994).

Her co-authored publications include “Politics and Advocacy: The Role of Networking in Selling the Library to Your Community,” Public Library Quarterly, 2007; “The Dream of One Cleveland,” Library Journal, 2005; and "Learning Environments for Young Children: Rethinking Library Spaces and Services," 1998.

She received an MA in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a BA in English from State University of New York in Binghamton.

Watch excerpts of the Presidential Candidates’ Forum that took place at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting. 

Biographical information about the Councilor-at-Large candidates, including a searchable Excel spreadsheet can be found here.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

For more information on the election, call (800) 545-2433, ext. 5, or email